Posted on June 11, 2013
Today Courtney and UAV Team and I all hiked out to collect more georeference points to add to our collection from day one of field work. From the start, we collected base camp points and moved on to major road intersections, movie props and cattle infrastructure throughout the remainder of the valley. This became particularly challenging around the north side of the valley which didn’t end up having as many recognizable points compared to the south side. In the middle of the north face, we used single trees in the middle of plains to collect reference points. After some thought, I began to wonder if these “solo trees” would end up being some of our strongest points to come out of this data collection period.
Courtney and I returned to the barn to export the data from the past two days to see how much we had done. After some pre-processing steps with GPS Pathfinder Office, Courtney was able to show me that we had done 17 points over the course of the data collection period. For statistical reasons we hope to have 30 towards the end of the week.
The map we produced also showed that we are lacking points in the middle of the valley (which is mainly used for cattle grazing and movie production). From initial observation, it seems this portion lacks buildings and road intersections. From this point on, we have to think outside the box to collect the remainder of the required georeference points.
After visiting the front of the valley. I’m starting to think it will work best for measuring canopy height on the tress that areon level ground. Considering PhotoScan doesn’t measure brush and small trees fairly well, it seems appropriate to pick a portion of the valley that lacks these qualities (brush and small trees seemed to be consumed by cattle or horses in the area). I think over the next few days I will practice flying the quad-copter with the UAV group and get a better understanding of the general area described above.
Cole Anwyl Walters
University of Maryland, College Park